Dr. Kathy Nacos-Burds, a native of Dubuque, has replaced Curt Oldfield, former Northeast Iowa Community College (NICC) vice president of academic affairs.

Nacos-Burds' career in nursing has spanned three decades, and the new NICC vice president of academic affairs said her true love of education is what brought her to NICC in 1989 and influenced her decision this year to serve as one of the college's four vice presidents. NICC officially named Nacos-Burds to the position July 16.

Nacos-Burds served as dean of nursing and allied health at NICC from 2007-12 and has provided administrative leadership and coordination of the associate degree and practical nursing programs, dental assisting, radiologic technology, respiratory care, emergency medical technician-paramedic, firefighting specialist, surgical technology, human services and early childhood programs.

"As soon as I started my career at NICC, I loved the college for the dedication of the college's instructors, the diverse student body, the quality of graduates I saw and the mentors I had from the very start as a faculty member," said Nacos-Burds. "It's exciting to see people across the NICC district over the many years I've worked here who love learning and talking about learning. In applying for the vice president of academic affairs position, I saw a need administratively to continue what we're doing as a college and, for me, to move into a new role," she said.

Nacos-Burds earned a Ph.D. in educational leadership and policy studies from Iowa State University in 2010, an M.S. in nursing education from the University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, Minn., in 1991 and a B.S. in nursing from the College of St. Teresa, Winona, Minn., in 1981.

Her doctoral research and teaching expertise has earned honors, including a Graduate Research Excellence Award from Iowa State University in 2010, an induction into Phi Kappa Phi Honor Society at Iowa State in 2009 and recognition in the Who's Who Among America's Teachers in 2005 and 2006. Nacos-Burds also won a National Institute for Staff and Organizational Development (NISOD) Award in 2001 and was recognized by NICC students as an Outstanding Educator in 1998 and 2001.

Prior to her role as dean of nursing and allied health, Nacos-Burds served as the dean of health, early childhood and human services from 2005-07. Her leadership accomplishments include increasing the retention rates of practical nursing students from 67 percent to 92 percent by introducing a workplace transition course and the district-wide reorganization of staff to improve efficiency in nursing program processes. Other accomplishments include streamlining processes to reduce nursing student program wait time by 50 percent.

Nacos-Burds taught practical nursing and associate degree nursing classes as a full-time instructor at the NICC Peosta campus from 1991-2005 and part-time from 1989-91. Prior to her tenure at NICC, she was a part-time nursing instructor at Highland Community College's outreach center in East Dubuque, Ill. Additionally, she held positions as a managed care nurse at medical associates clinic in Dubuque; as an interdisciplinary nursing team member in bone marrow transplant/hematology at Rochester Methodist Hospital, in Rochester, Minn.; and as an interdisciplinary nursing team member in area medicine/metabolic/rheumatology, also at Rochester Methodist Hospital.